Uganda police fire tear gas at voters angered by delays

Ballot boxes are pictured as people line up to cast their vote in presidential and parliamentary polls, on February 18, 2016 at the Nasuti polling station in Mukono District (AFP Photo/Isaac Kasamani) (AFP)

Kampala (AFP) - Ugandan police fired tear gas to disperse furious voters Thursday in the capital Kampala as the election commission apologised for hours-long delays in delivering ballot papers, AFP reporters said.

Voting was due to begin at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) but was stalled for several hours in some polling stations in the city and surrounding Wakiso district when ballot boxes and papers did not arrive on time.

The capital traditionally shows strong support for the opposition.

"There has been a delay in delivery of polling materials in some parts of Wakiso district and Kampala capital city. The Electoral Commission regrets the delay," the commission said in a statement.

"The polling materials have now been delivered to all these places and polling has commenced in most of the places."

President Yoweri Museveni is widely predicted to win a fifth term at the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Some frustrated voters accused the authorities of deliberately stalling the vote.

"People are quite angry and everybody is believing that there is something wrong behind this because of the way they are delaying things," said Moses Omony, a motorbike taxi driver.

"We know this has been done intentionally," said Marius Nkata, a builder.

The election commission meanwhile appealed for patience, saying it "calls on candidates, their agents and supporters, to be calm and tolerant as always during the polling process."